The schedule was released earlier today (well, probably yesterday by the time you read this) and just like every year this meant that everyone with a keyboard, working fingers and a moderately functioning brain felt the need to pick it apart and pronounce to the world what the results would be. This is one of my least favorite parts of the football year. I think it’s dumb and essentially meaningless. I understand why everyone does it because, hey, why not? But there are so many moving variables that there is no way to forecast this shit. At least not without heavy drugs and a spirit guide involved. I mean, sometimes you aren’t even aware of what the outcome should be even while it’s happening. Take, for instance, last year’s game against the 49ers. At the time, that felt kind of like a bad loss. By the end of the year, I was just kind of impressed that the Lions probably should have won that game. I mean, the 49ers were fucking awesome last year. We didn’t know that even when we played them, let alone when the schedule was released. There are always a handful of games like that every year, games that make this a meaningless exercise in wankery.
My initial plan was to wait for the schedule to be released and then write a whole piece like the first paragraph, but that felt too assholeish for some reason – even for me – and the thought of it just depressed me. Too much goddamn negativity. Instead, I got a little bitchy on Twitter, complained like an old man about too many night games because I hate feeling like I have to go from drunk in front of the TV to drunk in front of the keyboard at midnight (I was properly abused for this dumb complaint and I apologize for my whiny buffoonery and withdraw my idiot remarks.) and even got snarky with Jennifer Hammond, local Fox personality and occasional sideline reporter for Lions preseason games, who graciously just retweeted my gibberings about Calvin Johnson flying to the moon on a magic horsey instead of slap fighting with me. It was all vaguely embarrassing and I feel dumb having engaged in any of it.
Anyway, to make it up to everyone, I decided to do a little forecasting of my own. But unlike everyone else, I take this shit seriously. It’s a grave responsibility, not for the weak of mind or spirit. I mean, this is NFL football we’re talking about here. And with that in mind, I scored some Peyote from an Indian in a back alley named Two Feathers and enlisted him as my spirit guide. After an argument in which he told me to quit calling him Two Feathers because his name was Mike and that he wasn’t an Indian but 1/8 Mexican on his mom’s side, I prevailed and Two Feathers and I embarked on a mythic quest through both my psyche and the future. Indeed, the world opened up to us in ways that left me both awed and shaken and here, today, I present to you my vision of the future. You might as well not even watch the games because this is 100% accurate. Two Feathers promised.
Week 1: Rams – The season gets off to a good start as Matthew Stafford throws four touchdown passes, a rejuvenated Jahvid Best runs for another and the Lions beat the Rams 38-7. Sam Bradford is concussed by a vicious Cliff Avril hit in the first quarter and Eminem beats Nelly to death in the stands with his own shoes. Sheriff Goodell suspends Eminem for the season and the Lions are accused of being outlaws again. Six people attend Nelly’s funeral. (1-0)
Week 2: at 49ers – The Lions lead 23-17 in the fourth quarter when a giant brawl erupts after Jim Harbaugh makes a wanking motion at Jim Schwartz. Schwartz charges across the field and the two wrestle on the 50 yard line while the San Francisco crowd hoots and throws dollar bills on the field. The game is suspended and finished two days later with both coaches in cages. Mario Manningham catches a touchdown pass after Ndamukong Suh is called for a personal foul for hitting Alex Smith with a Shoryuken on a key 3rd down stop. The 49ers win 24-23 but The Great Willie Young gets revenge when he scalps Harbaugh live on camera as a giant riot that takes two whole days to quell breaks out. San Francisco is left in ruins and the Lions reputation as lawless thugs grows. (1-1)
Week 3: at Titans – The Lions win 28-14 as Jim Schwartz returns to Tennessee and unleashes his attacking defense, which picks up 7 sacks and as a bonus, Sammie Hill ritually mutilates Chris Johnson as he shockingly announces that he’s converted to Satanism. Sheriff Goodell tries to suspend him but Sammie has the suspension overturned on appeal and Goodell is accosted by the Supreme Court for attempting to violate Sammie Hill’s Civil Rights. Sammie becomes an icon for freedom of religion and a surprise candidate for United States President. (2-1)
Week 4: Vikings – The Lions humiliate the Vikings 48-3. Jared Allen is stabbed by a desperate Jeff Backus in the first quarter. The refs try to throw Backus out of the game but the crowd intimidates them into doing nothing. The shaken Vikings then fold like prison bitches. Sammie Hill performs a black mass for Jared Allen’s soul and sacrifices a live goat at midfield after the game. Old Man Ford is said to be slightly uncomfortable with this turn of events but Ford the Younger sees money and soon the Lions make a killing on merchandise sales of rubber knives, Do It Yourself Satanism kits and Sammie Hill for President bumper stickers and pins. (3-1)
Week 5: BYE – The bye week is fairly uneventful with the exception of the arrest of Amari Spievey for mopery. He contends that the old man wasn’t blind at all and following a quick trial in which Spievey’s lawyer, Gunther Cunningham, tricks the old man into admitting that he can see after all, Spievey is released on a technicality. Sheriff Goodell still suspends him for one game. He announces it would have been more but he’s intimidated by Sammie Hill and he was terrified by the severed goat’s head he found stuffed in his mailbox. He announces that he suspects Ndamukong Suh of terrorizing him but since he has no proof he’ll let it go. For now.
Week 6: at Eagles – The Lions are frustrated by Michael Vick’s ability to improvise and find themselves down 31-7 at the half. It’s just one of those games. Ndamukong Suh takes it upon himself to give Vick a Tombstone Piledriver early in the third quarter and Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson manage to tie the game at 38 late in the fourth. The game takes a final turn when Sheriff Goodell appears with a legion of Storm Troopers and an arrest warrant for Suh. He is handcuffed and dragged off the field and in the commotion the Eagles sneak a field goal in to win the game 41-38. A riot breaks out in Philly and the police wagon Suh is stuffed into is overturned and set on fire, allowing him to escape. He goes into hiding and the Lions spend the next week fending off questions from the press and inquisitions from the FBI. Jim Schwartz is lauded as a hero for shitting in a bag and whipping it at a police cruiser in the parking lot. Sheriff Goodell, now balding from all the stress, announces he’s taking a two week leave of absence. In his place, Mike Pereira will serve as acting commissioner. (3-2)
Week 7: at Bears – The Lions win a vicious slugfest, 23-17 on a late fourth quarter Calvin Johnson touchdown. The Monday Night game is filled with blood and vile savagery. Six players die – all Bears – and The Great Willie Young is accused of cannibalism by Lovie Smith. After the game, Acting Commissioner Pereira reviews the tape and announces that Calvin Johnson did not properly assimilate with the ball following the touchdown and failed to become one being, half man and half football as stipulated in the new rule Pereira drew up on a napkin the night before while out getting fucking hammered with Brian Urlacher. He overturns the Lions victory and Detroit riots. Mayor Dave Bing tries to call in Robocop but since Robocop isn’t real, Bing looks like a damn fool and the riot soon peters out when everyone just gets depressed and realizes that burning shit in Detroit is just redundant. The Lions ask the community to come together in hatred of the league and pretty soon “Wanted: Dead or Alive” posters of both Sheriff Goodell and Pereira are seen plastered throughout the city. They vow never to set foot in Michigan again. The Great Willie Young celebrates by fucking Goodell’s wife and going fishing in Lake Michigan. He catches a sturgeon and eats it. It is delicious. (4-2 and 3-3)
Week 8: Seahawks – The Lions massacre the Seahawks 56-3 following seven Matthew Stafford touchdown passes. Pete Carroll is caught trying to solicit an undercover male police officer posing as a transvestite hooker outside of Ford Field following the game. The Lions manage to make it through the week without an arrest of their own and posters on MLive start grumbling that they’ve become “soft.” (5-2 and 4-3)
Week 9: at Jaguars – The Lions, despite missing Presidential candidate Sammie Hill who takes some time off in the run-up to the election, obliterate the Jaguars, 46-7, in front of 17 fans in Jacksonville. Cliff Avril concusses Blaine Gabbard and the Jaguars take the opportunity to announce that they are folding as a franchise. Sheriff Goodell gibbers on about the Lions being “murderers” and “franchise killers” and has to be sedated and hospitalized for an entire week. Lions fans picket his hospital room and harass him all week long. When he is released, he is incoherent and smells of urine and shame. (6-2 and 5-3)
Week 10: at Vikings – The Lions take advantage of a Jared Allenless Vikings team following his death at the hands of Jeff Backus and win another blowout, 48-14. After the game, fans on MLIve complain because the Lions defense gives up two late touchdown passes and openly wonder if Jim Schwartz is really the right man for the job. Two days later, a shaking Sheriff Goodell announces that, under pressure from President Elect Sammie Hill and his cabinet of devil worshippers and Voodoo witch doctors, that he is reversing Pereira’s reversal of the Bears game. An outraged Pereira tries to attack Goodell but is beaten by security and thrown out of the building. President Hill declares him an enemy of the state and announces a one million dollar bounty on his head. Pereira, afraid for his life, goes into hiding. He is never seen or heard from again. (7-2)
Week 11: Packers – The Packers come into the game prohibitive favorites for the Super Bowl and walk out crippled and bleeding. Ndamukong Suh, having been granted a pardon by President Hill, returns and sacks Aaron Rodgers 4 times, mocking his stupid belt celebration after each one. Rodgers has to be helped off the field by his lawyer and agent after the game and he is unceremoniously fired on live TV by State Farm, who tell him that they don't want to be associated with his pathetic image anymore and that if he uses the phrase “Discount Double Check” ever again he will be sued for copyright infringement. A whole nation rejoices. Suh is named his replacement by State Farm and in his first commercial he beats to death the Mayhem dude from the Allstate commercials and claims both his soul and Allstate as his personal fiefdom. Nobody complains. (8-2)
Week 12: Texans – Houston spends the entire game trying to run at the middle of the Lions defense. They are unsuccessful. President Hill activates himself before the game and breaks the leg of Arian Foster. He then claims Foster’s family and sacrifices them on an altar of blood. Foster complains to the Supreme Court but they reject his appeal on the grounds that you don’t fuck around with President Hill because he’ll turn your ass into a fuckin’ snake. Some of Sammie’s teammates become concerned that he is dabbling in fascism and he agrees to tone it down, both for them and the good of the country. Matthew Stafford throws 5 more touchdown passes and accepts an early invite to the Pro Bowl, on the condition that he gets to fuck every Hawaiian woman between the ages of 18-35. Hawaii joyously accepts and even goes so far as to crown him their new king, and as the reincarnation of King Kamehameha. President Hill graciously allows Hawaii to secede under the condition that Stafford and his heirs rule Hawaii forever. Everyone agrees. (9-2)
Week 13: Colts – Andrew Luck is declared legally dead after a vicious first quarter sack from Cliff Avril. He is kept alive via respirator for the rest of the season. The Lions win the game 56-3 and the whole world is now at their feet. Jim Schwartz warns them not to get a big head but he is knocked out by a solid gold chalice thrown by either Louis Delmas or Gosder Cherilus. The incident stirs up a minor controversy but President Hill calls an emergency State of the Union address to smooth over the controversy. A groggy Schwartz announces that he was wrong to try to contain the “warrior spirit” of his soldiers. The Wu-Tang Clan, featuring the reanimated corpse of ODB, reunite to commemorate the event. (10-2)
Week 14: at Packers – Dark days as Sheriff Goodell returns from a private spa/rehab facility on the same day that President Hill is impeached and thrown out of office when it’s discovered that he is Constitutionally ineligible to be President since he isn’t 35 years old. Nobody can explain why this was overlooked during his campaign but people speculate that he performed a mass spell on the entire country. The nation turns against both the Lions and Satanism. Sheriff Goodell takes the opportunity to suspend 90% of the Lions team for one game, causing them to lose 21-20 to the Packers. Ndamukong Suh, Cliff Avril, Ex-President Hill, The Great Willie Young and several others are forced to go into hiding somewhere in the Upper Peninsula. The Michigan Militia mobilizes and armed guards cover the border. Michigan secedes from the union. Ted Nugent tries to assassinate Sheriff Goodell but is captured when he shits his pants in fear. He blubbers on national TV, begging for forgiveness and denouncing the Lions and his fellow Michiganders. Fuckin’ shameful. (10-3)
Week 15: at Cardinals – The Lions are forced to forfeit because they can’t leave the state under penalty of arrest and execution. Lions rookie Kevin Murphy, a Harvard grad and 7th round draft pick who managed to stick with the team, is found dead in an Indiana cornfield after he dared to cross the border because he wanted to visit friends. His bullet riddled body shocks a nation who finally understand that this shit has gotten way, way too out of hand. A Peace Conference is held but new Michigan Governor Sammie Hill refuses to attend on the grounds that “motherfuckers need to learn them some respect.” The Great Willie Young organizes a raiding party into Ohio that ends with thousands of dead Ohioans and a nation pleading for both peace and mercy. The image of a hatchet wielding Willie Young covered in the blood of his enemies soon becomes an iconic image. (10-4)
Week 16: Falcons – The Falcons arrive via armored tank division to Ford Field to take on the renegade Lions. Shit gets out of hand in a hurry as Ndamukong Suh beats Roddy White to death in revenge for Roddy’s lies about him the previous year. Matt Ryan begs for mercy but is beheaded by The Great Willie Young on national TV. The game ends with the Lions leading 67-3 in the third quarter when the refs announce that they are afraid for their lives. The Falcons forfeit and have to flee with the refs to their armored tank division. A fierce firefight ensues in which Governor Hill unleashes a real life squadron of Robocops, all modeled on The Great Willie Young. Half of the Falcons team are never seen alive again and all of the refs are captured and then lynched on TV as a warning to the rest of the nation. Their heads are placed on pikes at strategic points on the border as a warning that you don’t fuck with the Lions or the state of Michigan. Kid Rock plays a Victory Concert and makes a horse’s ass out of himself. Chris Chelios gets shitfaced and tries to make out with Jim Schwartz’s wife. A minor episode ensues but The Great Willie Young keeps the peace when he beats Kid Rock half to death and fucks that fat lady who plays the drums for him. (11-4)
Week 17: Bears – The Bears nervously agree to play the Lions on a neutral field in the middle of Lake Michigan. Eight Bears players drown during a fierce winter storm. Lovie Smith is frozen in ice and is then tossed into the lake by one of his own players. Matthew Stafford throws 8 touchdown passes in a brutal war of attrition which sees Brian Urlacher have both of his feet and his dick amputated due to frostbite. The Lions win and after the game, an exhausted nation sues for peace. As a concession, Sheriff Goodell is dragged from his office and beaten. He is smeared in shit and forced to walk naked through the desert to the Mexican border, where he is exiled and left in the care of Mexican drug bandits. Governor Sammie Hill and the new United States President, Tupac’s hologram, shake hands in a momentous peace accord. The nation celebrates as the Lions finish 12-4, win the NFC North and clinch home field advantage. Posters on MLive complain that Governor Hill made too many concessions and that the Lions pass defense isn’t strong enough.
I tried to stick around to see what would happen in the playoffs but the Peyote wore off and Two Feathers abandoned me. That fucking savage, after all the land and, uh, blankets we gave his people . . . Anyway, I woke up on a park bench, completely naked, shaking with both fear and awe at what I had seen. I also awoke to a dog pissing on me while its owner, an old lady with snow white hair, stared in shock and awe at me and my manhood. I staggered away from the mutt and tried to ask the old lady for help but she just screamed and called for the police, the withered old bitch. I winced in pain, still not fully recovered from my journey through the spirit world and I fled to the comfort of the library basement, where I hid for the rest of the day beneath a pile of old magazines until closing time. After everyone had left, I stole a dress from a special Jane Austen exhibit and put it on. I staggered into the dark night, clad in only a Victorian dress and wandered home and immediately began writing this. I’m exhausted now and this dress is riding up my ass crack so I’m going to go now and leave you to think about all that I saw. It’s going to be a crazy year. You’re just lucky you have me around to guide you through it. You’re welcome, America. You’re welcome.